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Several Oswego Candidates Face Uncertain Ballot Future

Dec 01, 2014 07:18PM ● By Steven Jack

Incorrect village information regarding the Oswego consolidated election could mean several candidates will be left off the April ballot. 

Village Trustee and Village President candidate Gail Johnson said Monday she was informed by Village Attorney Karl Ottosen last week that a change in how the village elects its officials, approved by trustees in July, requires candidates running for elected office to take part in a Feb. 24 primary election. 

The filing period for primary petitions ended Nov. 24. 

Only two candidates met that deadline — Terry Michels, who is running for Village President, and Diane Selmer, who is running for trustee. Michels turned in both petition packets to the Village Clerk on Nov. 24.

According to information contained within the candidate petition packets handed out by the village, the filing period is Dec. 15 to Dec. 22. Those dates are also listed on the village website.

“The biggest issue I have is that the village gave out erroneous information,” Johnson said. “The packet we have clearly states Dec. 15 to 22.”

In July, trustees voted to conduct future elections in a non-partisan format, which by state law requires a primary. While the village’s petition documents do not mention a primary, information from the Illinois State Board of Elections contained within the packet does reference primaries in a non-partisan consolidated elections. 

Johnson said she plans to bring the issue up at Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting in the hopes that something can be done that will allow her and other candidates on the April 7 ballot. Several other candidates have announced their intentions to run for village trustee or village president.

“People will lose their voice if this stands,” Johnson said. “… I want to find a way for all candidates to get on the ballot.”

If the village can’t find a way to allow all candidates on the ballot, Johnson said the matter could end up in court. 

“I don’t want to go to court,” Johnson said. “I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

A phone call to Village Administrator Steve Jones seeking additional information was not returned Monday. A call to Michels also was not returned.